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Sun, 11 October 2015
LIVE: Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hit in air strike, claims Iraq

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21:43   'Failed live-in relationships leading to rape cases'
Failed relationships leading to separation of live-in partners and non-fulfillment of promise of marriage despite having physical relation, are major reasons behind rape cases registered by the Delhi police.   

At least 25 per cent of the total 1,656 rape cases registered so far by Delhi police have been because of terminated live-in partnerships or refusal to marry, said B SBassi, Commissioner of Police. A total of 1,656 rape cases have been registered by the police up to September 30 this year. These included 25.31per cent (419) cases in which the accused were in live-in relationship or refused to marry, reveals Delhi police data.   

With growing population, the number of rape cases and its nature have also changed. As per Delhi Police data, number of rape cases per 1 lakh people in the national capital averaged3.09 in 2010 while up till September 2015 this average increased to 12.21 cases.
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21:40   Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi hit in air strike, claims Iraq
Iraq claimed to have struck a convoy carrying Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air raid near the Syrian border. The fate of al-Baghdadi is unknown, the military statement said.

"The Iraqi air force carried out a heroic operation by striking al-Baghdadi's convoy while he on his way to attend a meeting with senior ISIS leaders in Karabelah," the statement said.

The statement issued by Iraq's "war media cell" said Baghdadi was "transported in a vehicle" after the strike but added that "his health status was unknown."
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20:56   Modi first denied permission, can now hold rally in Bihar's Bhabhua
The decks have been cleared for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Bhabhua tomorrow, permission for which was earlier denied by the Kaimur district authorities, following the go ahead from the Election Commission, officials said.       

Kaimur district administration has granted clearance for PM's rally at the Airport Maidan at Bhabhua tomorrow, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Shahabad Range, Md Rahman told PTI. He said that he along with the IG (Security) Ajitabh Thakur was camping at the venue to supervise security arrangements.       

Rahman said there were certain issues related to entry and exit of the rallyists with the Airport Maidan having a single-point entry and exit, but the problem has now been resolved with the organisers acquiring farmland adjacent at the venue.       

The PM's rally in Bhabhua had run into controversy with Kaimur District Magistrate Divesh Sehra yesterday denying permission despite SPG clearance for the event.       

A BJP delegation comprising former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state unit president Mangal Pandey and the party's central in-charge Bhupendra Yadav had yesterday submitted a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak seeking his intervention for grant of permission.       

Pandey had charged the district magistrate with "acting under the pressure of the state government."
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20:40   Gujarat-based writer Ganesh Devy returns Sahitya Akademi award
After Nayantara Sahgal and Ashok Vajpeyi, Gujarat-based writer Ganesh Devy returned his Sahitya Akademi Award to express solidarity with the writers, who have recently given up their awards to condemn the "shrinking space for free expression and growing intolerance towards differences of opinion" in the country.

"It is high time that writers take a stand," Devy said in a letter addressed to the president of Sahitya Akademi Prof Viswanath Pratap Tiwari.

"It is with utmost regret that I would like to convey to you that I wish to return the 1993 Sahitya Akademi Award given in the category of books in English to my work 'After Amnesia' (1992)," he said in the letter.

The founder director of the Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Center, said, "I do this as an expression of my solidarity with several eminent writers, who have recently returned their awards to highlight their concern and anxiety over the shrinking space for free expression and growing intolerance towards difference of opinion.

"These eminent writers have already stated their concerns in statements sent to you as well as through media interviews and discussions. I need not, therefore, state again what has already been conveyed to you."
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20:22   Tearful farewell to Tamil actor Manorama, Jayalalithaa remembers her 'sister'
Tamil Nadu today bid a tearful farewell to legendary Tamil actress Manorama, as her body was cremated here after a funeral procession attended by thousands of people, fans, and members of the film fraternity.

Earlier, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa arrived at the residence of Manorama in T Nagar, placed a wreath and showered encomiums on the actress and hailed her as "elder sister."

"There are no words to describe my grief, she is my elder sister in film industry," she told Manorama's relatives.

Reminiscing about her long association with her, she said Manorama used to affectionately serve her food whenever she went to her house. "She has come to my house many times and we have had food together, I cannot forget those days, no one can break the bond between us," Jayalalithaa said.

MGR had special affection for Manorama and Sivaji Ganesan used to hail her as a genius in acting, she added. "She is truly a genius, there is no achiever like her in the Tamil film industry, not only before her and also no one is going to be born hereafter, her death is an irreparable loss, the vacuum left by her cannot be filled by anybody."

Even as fans and public continued to pour in at Manorama's residence, the funeral procession began.
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19:40   Modi invites Nepal's new PM to visit India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke to KP Sharma Oli and congratulated him on being elected as the PM of Nepal.

Modi has spoken to KP Oli and congratulated him on being elected as the prime minister of Nepal, a PMO statement said. During their conversation, he invited Oli to visit India, it said.

The telephonic conversation comes at a time when there is an unease in the relationship between two countries, since Nepal adopted a new Constitution. Oli, a veteran politician and CPN-UML chairman, was today elected as the 38th PM of Nepal after defeating incumbent Sushil Koirala in a voting.
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19:36   Jaitley calls for reforms in World Bank at global meet
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made a strong case for raising shareholding of developing nations including India in the World Bank Group to reflect their share in the global economy and demanded a significant hike in the capital to meet growing financing needs.

Stating that the demand for development finance continues to be very strong, he quoted a bank's report admitting inability to support elevated levels of lending beyond 2018.

IFC -- an arm of the World Bank -- is already capital constrained. Also, there is the additional challenge of mobilising over US $100 billion per year for climate finance.

Speaking at the plenary meeting of the development committee in Lima, he emphasised the need for bigger financing and implementation plans by the World Bank Group to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

India, he said, expects a dynamic formula for shareholding of World Bank to be finalised by Annual Meeting 2016. The formula should incorporate "elements which help enhance the voice, role and voting share of the developing countries and reflect their increased share in global GDP and their contribution to building the bank's reserves," he said.

Jaitley said as the share of the developing and transitioning countries in the world GDP increases from 39 per cent in 2008-2010 to 49 per cent in 2013-15, "the shareholding realignment should reflect the same and be completed by 2017".

The development committee is the ministerial-level forum of the World Bank Group and the IMF for intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues. Jaitley represented the constituency consisting of the countries -- Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India.
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18:30   President discusses Syria crisis with Jordanian PM
The explosive situation in Syria, Palestine and the threat posed by terror group ISIS was discussed by India and Jordan today on the second day of President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Amman.

The two countries also signed six agreements of cooperation covering a wide range of subjects including merchant shipping, training of diplomats, information technology, cultural exchanges and media.

Ten MoUs for academic cooperation between Indian and Jordanian universities were also signed. Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour met Mukherjee to discuss matters of mutual interest. The meeting was followed by delegation-level talks and signing of agreements.

There was a "meeting of minds" between the two sides on the situation in Syria, Palestine and the ISIS menace, an Indian spokesman said later. On Syria, the two countries were in favour of a long-term solution based on the Geneva accord which calls for a transition in the country with the participation of the current government and those outside it, the spokesman said.

On terrorism also, the two sides pitched for a long-term solution and tackling of terrorism on multiple fronts. They underlined the need for adoption of the comprehensive UN convention on international terrorism.
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18:23   If it was not for Ambedkar where would I be, asks Modi in Mumbai
Addressing a rally in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "If it was not for Dr Ambedkar where would I be?"

"Babasaheb Ambedkar is an inspiration not just for one community but for the entire world. We know who got the Bharat Ratna when. But they did not give the Bharat Ratna to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar."

"Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar faced so many challenges but there was no bitterness in him. He is a Maha Purush," the PM said.

Earlier in the day, Modi laid the foundation stone for the Ambedkar memorial in the city. 
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18:20   Maldives hopes Modi will visit soon
The Maldives government today expressed hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit the country "very soon" as it admitted disappointment over his skipping the island nation on a tour to the region in March.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon said the country was facing "political tension" and that the visit by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was a "signal" that India continues to be a close friend of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Describing the two-day visit by Swaraj as "extremely important", Maumoon expressed happiness at the revival of the India-Maldives Joint Commission after a hiatus of 15 years.

"As you know, we have five decades of very close bilateral ties. I think this is a very significant visit because we have revived the joint commission between India and Maldives.

"We are facing some political tension in this country but at the same time the visit signals the close support that India has for Maldives and its continuation as a close friend of Maldives," she told PTI after her delegation level talks with Swaraj.

She said that the Maldives was "obviously" disappointed when Modi skipped Maldives on his tour to the region in March this year as they had made a lot of preparations.

"I think the situation was such that it was a difficult time and I am very hopeful that he (Modi) would be visiting Maldives very soon in the near future," she said.
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17:52   Projects stalled for 10 yrs now rejuvenated: Modi in Mumbai
Just in: After inaugurating the Metro corridor in Mumbai and laying the foundation stone for a B R Ambedkar memorial, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex.

"I am happy to be here on this day, the birth anniversary of Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan," said Modi.

"A vibrant port sector is very important for a nation blessed with long. In 15 months, Nitin Gadkariji has done in Mumbai what was not done in ten years. He's given new strength and speed to port sector coastlines. Projects stalled for 10 years are now rejuvenated."

"Now port development is not enough. That is why port-led development is the key. Ports must have great connectivity," he said. "Two sectors are going to be important in this century -- coastal sector and space. Be it space and sea, we need to be moving at a quick pace." 

Photograph: @ANI/Twitter
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16:17   K P Sharma Oli is Nepal's new PM
Just in: K P Sharma Oli is elected as Nepal's new prime minister with 338 votes against Sushil Koirala's 249. Oli secured 338 votes out of 598.

Earlier reports had suggested that the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) chairman was heading towards absolute majority.

Photograph: Twitter

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16:04   The Khans should continue to work for another 100 yrs: Bachchan
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan feels the three Khans -- Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir -- are doing great work and they should continue working for another 100 years.

"They are doing great work. I hope they continue as they are... they should continue (work) for another 100 years," Bachchan told reporters today when asked about the Khans turning 50.

"They are inspiring a lot of people. They are a great source of inspiration, joy. I wish them all the best," he said.

Bachchan, who turned 73 today, does not want to slow down in his work. "Let me go the way I am going. I don't know what will happen in future. I would want to continue working as long as I can do," he said.

The actor is quite excited about his new TV show Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi. "It is an interesting...nice show. There are people who do good work...help others, bring smile on the face of others. I feel if through my medium I can also do it," he said.

The Piku star feels the cancellation of Pakistani artist Ghulam Ali's concert is a political matter. "It is a political matter and I am not in politics ...so not right on my part to say much. The government should come up with rules and one will follow that," he said.

Ali's concert in Mumbai was cancelled after Sena's strong opposition over it.
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14:56   Article 370 permanent, beyond amendment or repeal: J&K HC
Jammu and Kashmir high court has ruled that Article 370, granting special status to the state, has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution and the feature is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.

The court also said that Article 35A gives "protection" to existing laws in force in the state. "Article 370 though titled as 'Temporary Provision' and included in Para XXI titled 'Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions' has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution," a division bench of justices Hasnain Masoodi and Janak Raj Kotwal ruled in a 60-page judgement.

"It is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation, in as much as the constituent assembly of the state before its dissolution did not recommend its amendment or repeal," the bench added. 

The court also observed that the President under Article 370 (1) is conferred with power to extend any provision of the Constitution to the State with such "exceptions and modifications" as may be deemed fit subject to consultation or concurrence with the state government.
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14:44   Rs 6000-cr transfer: CBI conducts raids, questions suspects
The CBI today conducted searches at 50 locations and started questioning of some of the suspects in its probe into alleged black money transfer of Rs 6000 crore to Hong Kong through Bank of Baroda camouflaged, as payments for 'non-existent imports'.

CBI sources said most of the 59 account holder companies, which had allegedly sent these remittances in the garb of payments for suspected non-existent imports, have given wrong addresses. They said despite that the agency has identified prime suspects in the case with some of whom being questioned at the CBI headquarters.

"The CBI has registered a case under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against 59 current account holders and unknown bank officials and private persons on a complaint from Bank of Baroda," according to CBI spokesperson here.

The FIR alleged that "59 current account holders and unknown bank officials conspired to send overseas remittances, mostly to Hong Kong, of foreign exchange worth approximately Rs 6,000 crore in illegal and irregular manner in violation of established banking norms under the garb of payments towards suspected non-existent imports".

The Enforcement Directorate has also registered a case and carried out searches in this connection.
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14:42   Malala may leave Britain to study in the US
Teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is considering leaving Britain to study for a politics degree at Stanford University in the US.   

The Pakistani schoolgirl survived a Taliban bullet to her head after being airlifted to Birmingham, where she now lives with her family. The 18-year-old has already made a visit to the California-based Ivy League university campus, The Sunday Times reported.   

Her father, Ziauddin, told the newspaper that a key consideration for Malala had been the weather. "They have 300 days of sun out of 365 days, which is a rare phenomenon in the UK. Three hundred days of sun makes a difference," he said.   

Despite the severe head injuries Malala suffered in the gun attack in her native Swat Valley, northwest Pakistan, in October 2012, Malala has excelled at school in Birmingham where she is studying for A-levels in history, math, religious studies and geography. She is looking at university applications after acquiring her A-level qualifications by next year.   

While Stanford appears to be her favoured choice, Oxford has not been ruled out and she has visited the university with a teacher from her independent girls' school in Edgbaston, a suburb of Birmingham.
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14:11   Now, ally Sena to boycott PM Modi's events in Mumbai
The rift between the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, continues to widen. Sulking over the alleged snub, by the BJP, the Sena has decided to skip Prime Minister Narendra Modi's events in Mumbai today.

"The BJP has hijacked Ambedkar and the Metro project," complained the Sena. 

PM will be in the city to lay the foundation stone for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial at Indu Mills in Dadar and to conduct 'bhoomi pujan' for two new Metro lines at Bandra-Kurla Complex, where he will also address a rally. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had earlier said that he would not attend the events planned around Modi's Mumbai visit, as he is in Marathwada to review the drought situation.
 
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13:59   Mamata backs Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity on stopping adoption homes
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today supported the Missionaries of Charity on stopping adoption at their orphanages following a recent change in rule by the Centre.   

"We fully support Missionaries of Charity and Sister Prema in their decision to opt out of adoption programme. They have a right to do so," Banerjee tweeted.   

"The essence of India is unity in diversity. This is the pillar of our great nation," she said.   

Following revision in guidelines on adoption by the Centre, the Missionaries of Charity, set up by late Mother Teresa, had said in a statement yesterday that it had stopped adoption at their orphanages two months ago.

"This decision was arrived at by the Missionaries of Charity Headquarters in Kolkata soon after we received the new Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015 issued under a notification from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development," the statement had said.  The move comes after revised guidelines were notified in July making single parents (separated, divorced, unwed mothers) eligible to adopt through online registration of prospective parents.
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12:49   Reservation row: Anna Hazare is anti-poor, anti-Dalit, says Lalu
 Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav today hit out at Anna Hazare over his remarks on reservation, saying the veteran social activist is in the same league as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah who are against the poor, backward and Dalits.

"There is no difference between Annaji, Mohan Bhagwatji, Modiji and Amit Shah. They all are anti-poor, anti-backward and anti-Dalit. They are insulting Baba Saheb Ambedkar, who fought for the inclusion of Dalit rights in the Constitution," Lalu told reporters.

Hazare had earlier spoken out against reservation in the country and said that it was a threat to the nation as it has become 'politically infected'. "The reservation was primarily done to reduce the gap between rich and poor. It was also necessary after India's independence. However, it is becoming a threat for India now," he told ANI.
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12:27   Suicide bomber targets convoy of foreign troops in Kabul
A suicide car bomber targeted a convoy of foreign troops in Kabul today, flipping an armoured vehicle on its side. The number of casualties was unknown, reports Reuters.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in the Afghan capital. "It was a suicide bombing against a foreign forces convoy in a crowded part of the city and there are casualties," said Najib Danish, deputy spokesman for the interior ministry. He did did not specify whether there were casualties among the foreign forces.
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12:03   1 terrorist killed in encounter in J&K, gun-battle on for over 12 hours
Just in: One terrorist was killed in an encounter in Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir today.

Two terrorists were reportedly hiding in a forest when the encounter started on Saturday evening. The gun-battle between the other terrorist and security forces is still on. A search operation is also underway.        
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11:58   Uddhav Thackeray to skip PM's event in Mumbai today
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will not be attending the events planned around Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Mumbai visit today, as he will be away in Marathwada to review the drought situation.

PM will be in the city to lay the foundation stone for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial at Indu Mills in Dadar and to conduct 'bhoomi pujan' for two new Metro lines at Bandra-Kurla Complex, where he will also address a rally.

"Uddhavji will be in Beed district tomorrow as per a 'pre decided' programme, to review drought situation there," his media adviser Harshal Pradhan told PTI this evening.

Pradhan's comments came shortly after Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve told reporters that his party deputed senior Minister Prakash Mehta to visit Uddhav Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' in Bandra today and personally hand over the invitation for tomorrow's events.
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11:33   On Jayprakash Narayan's birth anniversary, PM says Emergency damaged India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute to social activists Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan and Nanaji Deshmukh on their birth anniversaries.

"I salute the venerable Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan on his birth anniversary," Prime Minister Modi tweeted. "On his birth anniversary, my tributes to the great Nanaji Deshmukh," the PM said in his tweet.

Talking about Emergency, PM said, "Emergency did a lot of damage to nation, it was an attack on India's democratic tradition. We need not cry while remembering Emergency. Let's talk about how the anti-Emergency movement strengthened democracy. Leadership born during Emergency was not one for TV screens. It was a leadership to live and die for the nation."

He further said, "I bow to the great Nanaji Deshmukh on his birth anniversary. We remember Nanaji as a paragon of simplicity, dedication & service. His exceptional organisational skills & contribution to society are great inspiration for us."
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11:24   Legendary Tamil actor, remembered as 'Aachi', dies
Legendary Tamil actress Manorama died at a private hospital in Chennai last night following a heart attack, family sources said. She was 78. She is survived by her son Boopathi.

"She passed away due to heart attack, my world has fallen apart," Boopathi told PTI.

The actress died at around 12.05 am. A versatile actress, Manorama had acted in over 1,200 Tamil films, rubbing shoulders with top stars like MGR and Sivaji Ganesan in a brilliant career spanning over six decades.

She holds a Guinness World Record for acting in more than 1,000 films. Manorama also holds the unique distinction of having been in plays and films with five chief ministers. She played the female lead in the plays written, directed and acted in by former Tamil Nadu chief minister CN Annadurai besides appearing in plays with another chief minister M Karunanidhi.

Affectionately called "Aachi" (mother), she began her career as a stage artiste and acted in several hundreds of dramas.

Born Gopishantha to Kasi Kilakudaiyar and Ramamirtham at Mannargudi in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, she started her acting career on stage at age 12.
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00:07   India risks backsliding on success against HIV: UN envoy
New HIV infections in India could rise for the first time in more than a decade because states are mismanaging a prevention program by delaying payments to health workers, the United Nations envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific said. 

India's efforts to fight HIV have for years centered around community-based programs run for people at high risk of contracting the virus, such as sex workers and injecting drug users. The results won praise globally - annual new infections fell consistently and, overall, were reduced by more than half between 2000 and 2011.

But Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February cut the federal AIDS budget by a fifth and asked states to fill the gap, even though their poorly-run bureaucracies were already slow in releasing funds to their AIDS prevention units. As a result, staff salaries have been delayed for months and prevention activities have slowed down.